Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sunday is the Busiest Day!


No matter how you plan it or slice it, Sunday is not much of a "day of rest" as people insist it should be, especially for a country preacher's wife!

I have been up while it is still dark, and unlocked the meeting house, turned on the heat, unlocked the side doors and handicapped areas,  placed the communion trays on the communion table, and laid out a few things for the church dinner:  the punch cups, the serving utensils, napkins, plates, etc. The casserole is in the oven and the salad has been made. The coffeemaker is full of water, and just as I was writing this, it hit me that I didn't put the ground coffee in the filter.  No, it is nothing to do with old age!  My children have the same problem! 

We usually spend two hours after the dinner visiting and singing. There is also a church business meeting, and then the time it takes to clean up the kitchen and dining area. By the time that is completed, the day is almost over!



If there is any energy left in me, I hope to add some cuffs to my rose colored coat.  Sewing is a recreation for me!


It will look like this:


We have to go out to get something at a whole-foods store that has some old remedies (iodine, hydrogen peroxide, etc) and Mr. S. wanted to get something, so it looks like it is curtains for the sewing project this evening. Whew!  I understand why Monday is the standard day off for all preachers and their wives! As soon as I'm finished here I will go set up the coffeemaker  (with the actual coffee) over there and put the timer on. 

Next week if I can get some "hot spots" in order around here, I am going to treat myself to a visit to this Victorian house:

I thought about taking a picture I have in a tourist brochure, to the fabric store to match fabrics for an outfit to go with, but the colors show up so differently in pictures, as you see below:


Unlike our modern tract homes, no two Victorian houses were exactly alike, so it is easy to identify them. Many of them today have been named. 

These are the colors displayed in the brochure. 

Mr. S. says he is ready for another country drive, and this will be a nice road trip that will only take a day and get us home in time for supper. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Leave it at the Door






AT THE DOOR 

Edgar Guest 

He wiped his shoes before his door,
But ere he entered he did more;
'Twas not enough to cleanse his feet
Of dirt they'd gathered in the street;
He stood and dusted off his mind
And left all trace of care behind.
"In here I will not take," said he,
"The stains the day has brought to me.

"Beyond this door shall never go
The burdens that are mine to know;
The day is done, and here I leave
The petty things that vex and grieve;
What clings to me of hate and sin
To them I will not carry in;
Only the good shall go with me
For their devoted eyes to see.

"I will not burden them with cares,
Nor track the home with grim affairs;
I will not at my table sit
With soul unclean, and mind unfit;
Beyond this door I will not take
The outward signs of inward ache;
I will not take a dreary mind
Into this house for them to find."

He wiped his shoes before his door,
But paused to do a little more.
He dusted off the stains of strife,
The mud that's incident to life,
The blemishes of careless thought,
The traces of the fight he'd fought,
The selfish humors and the mean,
And when he entered he was clean.



Hello Ladies,

If you tend to look on the down side of things, the poem will help you understand how the home is so sacred, we must do what we can to curb those critical attitudes. I learned something about that years ago: don't critisize, complain, or condemn, when it comes to the home and family.  Real success comes from identifying what needs to be fixed, and fixing it!!! Then enjoy the success.  The other method  which  I call "blame and punish" does not produce progress at all. It does not train or teach and it doesn't improve anything. It just makes pessimistic people. That is largely what goes on in government, right?  Instead of fixing things, they blame and punish and nothing changes. So let us begin at home!! Leave all that pessimism outside the door!

I've seen people spend more time trying to find someone or something to blame, and then attempting to punish them, when they could fix things in less time. It is just ridiculous the lengths people will go to avoid really working and getting something changed for the good.

I like the poem's message because it shows that we have a choice. We can choose to be gloomy and we can live a "giving up" life, or we can choose to go for it and live, live, live.

This is a good poem to read aloud over and over until the whole family has it memorized. Its teachings are good to discuss, too!


Nothing expresses this better than the following plaque from Hobby Lobby.com. This is the attitude that gives us the ability to create, invent, plan and build.


Proverbs 31 says, "She works with willing hands."






Today I am taking a day off to do some walking around in HL just to get some new ideas. I like taking a notebook and writing down everything I like, and noting the price. As you know, there is a cycle of sales that goes on there. One week the lamps will be half price, and another week, the furniture, etc. and patterns go on sale for $1.99 about once a month. You can get the sale schedule somewhere online. 

Mr. S. likes to go with me because he likes the model car section and he is amused by the signs and plaques with clever saying. 

When I come back, I hope to prepare something for a video, so don't lose hope. Maybe there is an advantage to such a long gap between videos: You will be able to see how much I have aged, haha!!!!

In the photograph of the door:
Curtain:Home made, using muslin fabric dyed light sage green with liquid dye, ball fringe sewed on and also dyed.

Lamplight: these are sold at Walmart during the Christmas season, in two sizes. I like this so much I will keep it there year-round. 

Wicker chair and cushions:  I got these on lay-away at Walmart almost 30 years ago!

Door: from a local building supply store. Yes, that's MY door!  

As I've quoted from the Quiet Man time and again: "The house may belong to my brother, but what's in it belongs to me!!"


Foot update:  Mr. S. had a foot injury back in the early part of December, involving surgery and a ten-day hospital stay. After three months of visits to at least 8 medical people, the wound care center and all the health care departments have dismissed him, with no further appointments, but we are still watching the situation and keeping it bandaged a little longer. He has resumed his former lifestyle of just going and going, and he is still working.  I am the foot-watcher and I notice every little scratch or skinned area, because that is how the piece of wood got under his skin in the first place. I noticed a place yesterday that needed attention.  So we are being foot-aware.  Take care of your feet!!  Remember real cowboys don't wear flip-flops or sandals.  Even in the city, it is not safe to wear shoes that barely cover your feet. And, it isn't safe to go barefoot,  especially in the kitchen!!!  Leave the bare feet to the paintings by Adolphe Bouguereau.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Little Celebration

Hello Everyone. I hope all of you received something beautiful today.

In the US, Valentine's Day is for all people, and there are a lot of children who are thrilled to get hearts and flowers and cards from their parents, particularly their Dads.

I was in Dollar Tree yesterday and there was a little girl with her mother and she was so enthusiastic, she was saying "Happy Valentine's Day" to everyone she saw. She was jumping for joy because her mother was getting her one of those cellophane balloons.

Mr. S. And I cannot seem to keep up with the holidays, so there is always a last minute scramble to come up with a gift. Here is what he made for me:


 Honestly the date seemed to arrive so fast that I did not get any cute cards made or sent, but I will use the rest of the month to do so.


I wanted you to see the ingredients of that bowl of roses, all from Dollar Tree.



From what I can compare, these hard vinyl baskets at Dollar Tree are just as good quality as at Hobby Lobby, and they come in several colors, as well as different sizes and shapes.  I chose the round basket to make a floral arrangement in, but they come in square and rectangle, oval, etc. Colors are hot pink, lavender, mint green and blue.    The total cost of this was $5.00. I used the floral stems from other arrangements I have around the house, but I got them all at Dollar Tree.  You can't really tell what a bright spot they provide in this home.



Image from  Victorian Trading Company

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Affirmation For Christian Homemakers

To get in the habit of looking on the bright side, replace thoughts of defeat with thoughts of  overcoming.
Repeat this whenever discouraging thoughts intrude.

Stop for tea and time to think.

Expect distractions, delays and resistance to any worthwhile endeavors. When this happens, simply work on it more. 



If you are unable to meet your own set time limits for anything you are trying to accomplish, change the time limits to zero.

Don't be dependent on anyone else to motivate or encourage you, but be able to pick up enthusiasm from unexpected circumstances. 

When frustrated with burdens, pause frequently to notice some small thing and thank God for it.

Prepare yourself. Make your appearance as nice as you can to enable you to feel good about yourself. Respect your Creator, respect others and respect yourself enough to take care of your appearance. It isn't vain or self agrandoising to do so. Think of what others., Including your children, have to look at and give them the best impression.

Make something in your home orderly and clean every day, even if it is a small thing.

Make plans and dreams even if there is no way of doing them right now.

Spend one day a month doing something or planning something or making something you have been wanting for a long time.

List the basics you need to do in a day, and after that is achieved, use the rest of the day to do something you have been avoiding.

Once a day, reach toward the sky, and then try to touch your toes.

Defeating thoughts can be bad for your health. You can live more abundantly when you are cheerful and hopeful. Keep hope alive. Even if hope is deferred, it is better for your soul than despair.

Sing the hymn "Sweet Will of God."

Monday, February 11, 2019

Snow Storm


We have returned home after a very snowed-in weekend away.  See previous post for details.

Mr. S. had snow tires and was confident we would make it away and back.


We are certainly happy to be home.  

I don't know about you, but one thing about being away from home, is that it creates renewed interest in caring for the house. I use any outside excursion for an opportunity to get fresh new ideas. I plan new lessons, or fresh hospitality ideas.

On our way home, we stopped by Miss Dahlia's, where she and her husband welcomed us for dinner!  She had prepared a lovely Mexican meal.  It was so different than the restaurant version, I tell you.

I didn't get any pictures of her beautiful home! She is a picture of contentment.  We find ourselves so busy living life, we forget to take pictures.

Some of you have been encouraging me to make videos and podcasts or radio broadcasts to listen to online.  
The reason I have not done anything is the amount of preparation it takes, particularly for videos.  I know some people just go sit in their garage and start talking, and those are sometimes the best! However I don't want to have a video about homemaking with a background that looks like a hurricane just came through.  And, it seems to take me forever to get things in order these days. There always is something else to be done, somewhere to go, or essential work.  But I will not give up hope, and just might surprise you and have a video here.

To those who have children at home, I would suggest you not be too involved in making money and creating videos to such an extent that the children are neglected. Do everything moderately. Your home is your headquartes for living, and so,  running it, dressing the children, feeding everyone, keeping it clean and lovely, is your priority.



Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Delicate Art of Snow



The fresh snowfall dressed the trees up in lace fabric.

There ought to be a 
 fabric or ladies clothing that goes with  the snow, similar to the delicate lace of snow. 

I took this picture from a window. It looks like the old black and white photos but it is in color.





A small church invited Mr. S. to conduct a marriage reinforcement class this weekend.

The tables in the room were brightly decorated.






Here is one of the poems Mr. S. read to.the class:

A Prayer for a Christian Husband

Lord, may there be no moment in my life
When she regrets that she became my wife.

Help me to do the utmost I can
To prove myself her measure of a man.

Since years must bring to all their load of care,
Let us together every burden bear.

And when Death beckons one it's path along,
May not the two of us be parted long. 

M.V. Caruthers. 


Thursday, February 07, 2019

Electric Fireplaces


Regarding my electric fireplaces, I furnished my home with them for several reasons.

-These portable fireplaces, although functional heaters,  are mainly decorative for my purposes. I wouldn't have it any other way, because I very much need the look of a real home for this type of house.

Since I do not own my home, I instead own the things that make it a home: the chandeliers are mine, as well as any architectural embellishments.

-The house I live in does not have a built-in fireplace and  there is no possibility of adding one.

-The electric fireplaces  supply a good decor item that gives the house a warm, lived-in look.

-Electric fireplaces are portable, which makes it easy to heat up any part of any room, or rearrange the furniture.  "Real fireplaces" have to stay in the same location, but a portable one makes rearranging the room more interesting, at least, to me.

-It is not necessary to use the heater and run your electric bill up. You can just use the light to light up the fireplace.

-They can be used in the summer, since you don't have to turn the heater on, only the lights.

 If you are planning on getting something like these, I would advise against any of them with the darkened glass because the fire in it does not shine as brightly. Instead of this one, above, get this one, below.
 I did not know about this until I received the white fireplace and discovered the darkened glass. The only time the flames show through the darkened glass is when the room is completely dark.
So if you are in Walmart looking at the variety of electric fireplaces, get someone to take it out of the box and let you look at the glass, if you can. If not, Most of them are clear glass. 

The brown one, above, has an optional hinged leaf in the back whereby you may make it into a corner fireplace. Corners are great places for these units, and give the room a different shape.

All of my fireplaces came from Walmart.com and were delivered to the door. However , they are available in the stores and can easily fit in a car, as far as I know. 

I particularly like the little black stove with the flame and the heater. It fits so nicely in small rooms and tiny corners and can be put in the most unusual places--a hallway, a bathroom, an inside porch, the sewing room.  It is being used as a bedside table here, and in the living room next to Mother's chair it makes a nice table for a reading lamp and her books.

The larger fireplaces look great in bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms. I have three altogether.  

Our main source of heat is propane, which we like very much, and the electric fireplaces are just supplemental, to take off the chill for 5 minutes or so in the mornings or now and then. Otherwise I use the lights in them that make the fire flicker as though it was really burning.

I would not recommend the portable electric fireplace as a main supply of heat, but it helps warm up a cold bedroom and looks ever so nice in a guest room.


In spite of the covering of snow, one of the primroses on the porch bloomed:

Inside, I enjoy using the electric fireplace as another piece of furniture that can be used in other ways. The mantel makes a nice book shelf or place for framed  family photographs, a big bouquet or anything that suits your creative thinking.

Adding things like stacks of wood in a kettle, or fireplace screens and other fireplace equipment, adds to the fun of these portable fireplaces. You can also place a little mat in front, or make your own by braiding a rug from fabric you don't want anymore, that goes with your color preferences
...and add a few pieces of real wood , which smells great. I'm using artificial wood, made with styrofoam and bark. You may remember I made a fake cake using bark, and this is the same kind of craft. If I ever get time, I'll show you how to make one of these logs.
If you are ordering one on Walmart.com read the description and make sure it is fully assembled. They are "a bear" to put together but the recent models are fully intact. The stores also have them, in one unit, and  the box fits in the car.

 The portable fireplace also, in my opinion, provides a little elegance to even the poorest of rooms!

If you do decide to get one of these portable heaters, make sure it is completely assembled  right in the box so that all you have to do is slide it out and plug it in. In years gone by when these first came on the market, you had to put them together, and what a job that was. 



Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Pretty Coats You Can Buy




All around us in the bleak of winter are black coats. Chadwicks catalog and online sells them in colors. Here are some of them.







Tuesday, February 05, 2019

Sewing Report: Plaid Fabric Siting

'
Hello Ladies,

Our view today is quite cloudy but Mr. S., ever the optimist (in a dry way) tells me it is "clear" indoors.

These are two of my window pictures, but I don't think they will make it to Pinterest.


Today I turned up the heat and stayed inside as much as I could.  On days like this I long to browse in a fabric shop and dream of future coats or uncharted sewing worlds.




Yesterday was another hospital office visit to the surgeon to check on the progress of Mr. S.'s foot wound.  He took a picture of me as we walked across a causeway, with the snow capped mountain in the distance, and of course, to get yet another glossy of my pink fleece coat.


Because of the snow, Mr. S. wanted me to model some of my fleece coats.
I didn't want to let him outside in the cold yet, so he had to click the pictures from the window. 
This is the raspberry coat with the hood up.


 Green coat from a few weeks ago.




Pink coat from a few years ago. It was the most difficult, most expensive, and heaviest fabric, which is why I am only using the thin fleece. Although fleece is light weight, when you add a lot of seams and pieces, it gets heavy. That is why I haven't lined any of these so far, although I still hope to line the green coat and finish the matching purse. 

Of the three coats, the green one is the most comfortable and I haven't finished it yet. I wanted to put a border on the hem to give it more weight in the wind. 






In the winter, Kate, of  Btitish royalty, wore this colorful plaid coat. I really like the hat.

On the way home from the surgeon check up, we stopped at HL* which is in the same vicinity as the hospital, and I happened upon this plaid fleece fabric:


It certainly looks the same as the coat, so I was quite interested in it. However it is one of those "furry" fabrics that gets all over the place when you cut it, and clogs up the machine, but I'm still looking at it whenever we are in the city.


Here are some scenes from the fleece fabrics of HL

I love the colors of "minky" fabric, above, but it is not as stable as regular fleece and it tends to sag and stretch if used as a garment. Instead I go for the thin version of polar fleece, pictured below, for quick coats. I am looking for the colors mint, pale yellow, light lilac-mauve, and pale apricot, which I did not find here.  I like some of the prints here on the lower shelves. The black and white check looks interesting.




The wound update is this:  The surgeon took Mr. S. off the bandages and special socks and declared it healed.  However,  I am still padding the area and wrapping it and making him wear his special sock.  We go to the Wound Care division on Thursday and will see what they have to say. They use powerful lights and magnifiers to  check out wounds and know what is what. It appears to be completely healed but somehow having a bandage on it still, is a comfort, if you know what I mean. I feel it still needs some padding on it in case he drops a book, a spoon, a cup, and all the things we usually drop around here. We don't have a problem with it, but in any home, it is wise to have the feet protected a little more if you have had an injury.

Let me know what you think of this cute plaid coat and the fabric. I know plaid doesn't look good on most women, but this coat seems quite nice, especially with that warm looking hat.


*Hobby Lobby


  
This year we aren't economizing on heat. It is good for the windows and walls, bedding, fabric stash and all the corners of a house to keep it warm and dry, and for those who are inactive and need a bit more warmth. 

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